The cell adhesion molecule 2 (CADM2) gene has appeared among the top associations in a wide range of genome-wide association studies (GWASs). This study aims to: (1) examine how widespread the role of CADM2 is in behavioural traits, and (2) investigate trait-specific effects on CADM2 expression levels across tissues. We conducted a phenome-wide association study in UK Biobank (N = 12,211–453,349) on 242 psycho-behavioral traits, both at the SNP and the gene-level. For comparison, we repeated the analyses for other large (and high LD) genes. We found significant associations between CADM2 and 50 traits (including cognitive, risk taking, and dietary traits), many more than for the comparison genes. We show that many trait associations are reduced when taking geographical stratification into account. S-Predixcan revealed that CADM2 expression in brain tissues was significantly associated with many traits; highly significant effects were also observed for lung, mammary, and adipose tissues. In conclusion, this study shows that the role of CADM2 extends to a wide range of psycho-behavioral traits, suggesting these traits may share a common biological denominator.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-314
Number of pages9
JournalBehavior genetics
Issue number4-5
Early online date22 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • CADM2
  • Candidate gene
  • Gene-expression
  • Phenome-wide association study
  • Risk behavior

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